The Sound of Your Heart
The Spectacular Spider-Man
Home > Darkest Before Dawn (KGI #10)(13)

Darkest Before Dawn (KGI #10)(13)
Author: Maya Banks

If she hurried she could tend to her needs and get in an hour of sleep, two if she was lucky. The rising sun would wake her. The urgency of her mission today would wake her. And she desperately needed all the rest she could grab when it was imperative that she stay on the move at all times.

She was thirsty and hungry. But water was what she craved, what she needed. Her lips were dry and cracked, her tongue so devoid of moisture that it clung to the roof of her mouth and rubbed abrasively over the sensitive skin with there being no natural liquid to ease its way. She increased her pace, knowing there was little sense in maintaining the guise of her disguised form at night when no one would be out except . . .

Nope. She wasn’t going there. She slammed her mind shut to block the fear that she was being stalked right this moment. That they’d caught up to her and if she alerted them to her position they’d have her. They’d win. Oh hell no. This game wasn’t over. By her count, she was winning. All she had to do was maintain her lead. If she stayed just one step ahead of them, victory would be hers.

When she finally reached the outskirts of the village, she scouted the hillside overlooking the tiny rural populace and found a place where the rock formations were more prevalent. And they were large, jutting upward and spreading out, the configuration such that there was a protective ring around an opening in the middle. She would be shielded from plain sight. One would have to go beyond the perimeter of the structures in order to see her. But at the same time, it would enable her to take position in a place where she could have an unimpeded view of the village below while remaining undetected.

She sank behind the largest formation, one that faced the village, and winced when she had to reposition her knee so that it didn’t bend beneath her. She stretched her leg outward and rested her back against the stone. It wasn’t the most comfortable support, rough with jagged edges, but it kept her upright, so she wasn’t complaining.

She needed food and water. Especially water. But her thirst wasn’t as great as her need to have one moment to just sit in the quiet and breathe. Just a few steadying breaths and a moment to let go of the pain, the sorrow and the gut-wrenching fear that she could be captured at any time.

So for a moment she simply sat there and absorbed the night. This was a sparsely populated area and there were few lights emanating from the village, so the area was blanketed in dark, making the sky that much more visible. The stars were brighter, glowing like something alive, and she could see the heavy carpet of them for miles.

It was truly beautiful. She’d never been in a place where she could see so many stars twinkling in the black velvet sky. It looked like fairy dust. The beauty of the night gave her solace. Those few seconds before practicality had to take over had been needed. She was a little calmer now. She would overcome. She would win.

She dug into the bag carrying her waning supplies and pulled out the antibiotic pills she’d been taking since she escaped the ruins of the clinic. She’d walked through the rubble, hastily looking for anything that would help her stay alive. Water. She’d carried out as many of the bottles of water as she could, given her condition and the fact she had other items to carry as well.

She’d scored protein bars and MREs, grateful she’d seen the box containing them barely peeking from beneath the debris. And medication. Pain medication, antibiotics, sunblock and sunburn aid. It had a numbing agent she could rub on her knee to numb the pain from the lacerations and injuries to the skin.

After rounding up the things she could find that would aid her, she’d torn off her clothing and fashioned a hijab that fell well below her breasts and wore it over a hastily fashioned concealing robe from material the relief center gave out to women to make their clothing. Honor had cut a jagged hole through the middle of the swath and yanked it over her head.

It covered her completely. Not even her booted feet peeked from beneath the hem when she walked. And most importantly it gave her the ability to pull off the rest of her disguise.

She’d used rolls and rolls of medical tape to attach small pillows to parts of her body to make her appear lumpy and shapeless. Indistinct. She padded her belly to make herself seem heavier, but she bound her breasts flat against her chest. Or as flat as she could make the generous mounds. Muslims weren’t to wear revealing clothes of any kind, and for that Honor was grateful because her breasts drew attention, a fact she’d long cursed. With this manner of appearance, there was no difference between her breasts and the rest of her body. She looked like an older rounded woman whose back had stooped her with age.

It was automatic when thinking of her appearance that she pulled out the piece of bark that she used to apply and rub in the henna dye. She checked her arms, shoulders and neck even though they were shielded at all times. Still . . . She adhered to the motto that one could never be too careful. Especially when it came to self-preservation and the overwhelming instinct for survival.

She took out the mirror she’d taken from the clinic. Already the idea for how she’d hide had been formulating in Honor’s mind as she’d collected up supplies in preparation to flee. And she knew a mirror was essential in order for her to ensure that the only visible part of herself stayed darker. Just as the penlight had been a source of light, no matter how small. Because she’d known if she had any chance, she would have to travel mostly at night and find a place to rest during the day and force herself to ignore the panicked demand in her head screaming at her to keep running, not to stop. Not for one minute. The logical part of her knew she did herself no good if she made demands of her body it wasn’t capable of fulfilling. If she pushed herself too far, she’d only incapacitate herself, and then she’d be a sitting duck.

Hot Series
» Unfinished Hero series
» Colorado Mountain series
» Chaos series
» The Sinclairs series
» The Young Elites series
» Billionaires and Bridesmaids series
» Just One Day series
» Sinners on Tour series
Most Popular
» A Thousand Letters
» Wasted Words
» My Not So Perfect Life
» Caraval (Caraval #1)
» The Sun Is Also a Star
» Everything, Everything
» Devil in Spring (The Ravenels #3)
» Marrying Winterborne (The Ravenels #2)